Long before my husband Matthew and I became Matthew and I, we used to work together at a small-town daily newspaper. At one of our newsroom gatherings, I first encountered a delicious dip called Buffalo Chicken Dip. Now, you can find recipes for it all over the place, but it usually has some combination of chicken, cream cheese, buffalo (wing) sauce and blue cheese. Problem is, Matthew’s not a buffalo sauce fan, and we both prefer our blue cheese on a freshly-grilled burger.
So recently, while eating another Southern delicacy at home (Hoppin’ John’s), we indulged in a little bit of Texas Pete on the top. (Texas Pete hot sauce is made in Winston-Salem, a #FoodieScore favorite food city, and according to Wikipedia, is considered “fairly mild.”) On the back of this particular bottle, I noticed a recipe for buffalo wing sauce. Matthew and I started talking, we figured it couldn’t be that hard to swap Texas Pete for the buffalo sauce, and voila! We now have a new favorite chicken dip.
Texas Pete & Ranch Chicken Dip
What You Need:
-1 can of chunk chicken (12 oz.) (Canned just creams up well in a dip! You can cook, shred and use fresh if you prefer.)
-1/3 cup Texas Pete hot sauce
-1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
-1/2 cup ranch dressing (We make our own fresh from a ranch seasoning packet.)
-3/4 cup of shredded cheese (We used Colby Jack, one of my favorite blends.)
What You Do:
1. Drain the canned chicken, then put it in a medium saucepan on medium heat. (Any hotter and it might bubble up on you.)
2. Stir in the hot sauce.
3. Open the cream cheese package and use a spoon to scoop up small chunks of cream cheese and drop them into the pot.
4. Stir until the cream cheese melts and the mixture starts to blend together smoothly.
5. Stir in the ranch.
6. Stir in the shredded cheese.
7. Turn down on low until you’re ready to eat!
8. Serve in a low-sided bowl or serving tray with tortilla chips, Saltine crackers or anything you like for dipping. Serves 4, or 2 with leftovers. We also recommend doing this for lunch or dinner with a small side like refried beans!